If At First You Dont Succeed, pt 3

By Heather Melville

Shade examined the body on the exam table and turned
back to the med officer. "What would you recommend?"

The man swallowed hard. "Just to wake her? I , ah,
my lord-" He drew a deep breath. "We've already
tried stimulants and increasing response to physical
sensation. The brain damage should not have caused
this sort of coma, but perhaps it's having some
unusual effect. She has some genetic differences
attributable to human population drift. Without any
prior history, I can't be sure."

Shade nodded for the man to continue, reflecting that
Lord Vader's propensity for strangling personnel had
resulted in some unfortunate reactions to other Sith
lords. This amount of fear actively reduced

"I, I'm sure your lordship is far wiser than I in
matters of, um, interrogation. Sir, I and my staff
stand ready to assist you in any way we can, of

Shade held up a hand. "Doctor. I have no desire to
punish you or your staff for matters beyond your
control. I assume final responsibility for the
outcome of this situation myself. Please, give me
your evaluation."

The man nodded sharply. "Very well, my lord. The
prisoner is a Force user of unknown strength. The
head injury is insufficient to account for continuing
unconsciousness. The damage to the back muscles is
healing as expected. I would presume this.withdrawal
is some manifestation of her ability in the Force. 
Neural scans indicate no reaction to environmental
stimuli of any kind. I assume that the primary goal
at the moment is to force resumption of the conscious

Shade nodded.

"I can think of some strategies to achieve that, but I
cannot and will not guarantee success." He paused. 
"The first is to maintain the status quo and watch for
changes. The second is to again use stimulants and
sensory enhancers, this time with the addition of
stronger negative stimuli and a Force inhibitor. I
have to be honest; I don't like doing that on top of
an unhealed head injury. It's likely to cause further
damage, and I can't completely control where. We may
be able to heal the tissue, but we can't recover
memory that we've destroyed."

"I take it you have a third option?"

The officer paled. "Yes, sir. We could heal the
damage entirely, giving you a clean starting ground. 
If the head injury is a determinative factor, this
should remove it. I cannot recommend any particular
course of action. These opinions are entirely my

Shade looked at the man quietly. "Of course. Doctor
Stiasny, please believe me when I tell you that I will
not blame you for things you cannot control. 
Interrogation is a risk. Methods often work
differently on different subjects. If I ask for your
recommendation rather than immediately measurable
facts, I take that into account. If I choose to
pursue the third option, what would you recommend?"

"Immediate bacta treatment. We have the supplies on
board. Frankly, I'd rather save them for our own
people, but bacta is the fastest and surest way of
healing these injuries."

"We have adequate supplies, Doctor." Shade smiled
slightly. "Although I approve of your loyalty to our
crew. Please institute the bacta treatment. Advise
me when it has been completed."

"Yes, my lord." The doctor bowed, trying to hide his
relief that the Sith were leaving his sickbay in one

Shade exited. He would have to speak with Darana
about the best way to deal with the new and
apparently nervous addition to the medical staff, and
the advisability of accepting any crew that had worked
with Lord Vader. Fortunately, Stiasny didn't seem
defiant, angry, or incompetent-just frightened out of
his ability to make independent decisions.

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